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Steve325

Louisiana grill kamado from Costco

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I’ve been eyeing this for a few months and looking around and comparing. I’m on a budget, but I don’t want to cheap out and make the wrong choice. It seems like with some modifications like the felt on the top and sealing the ash vent on the bottom solves most of the issues with this kamado. What are your thoughts on charcoal usage? I have been considering a smaller one because sometimes I’d like to just cook a few steaks or burgers rather than throwing on a full packer brisket. Anything I should know before jumping on this? 

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@Steve325

 

I need to save this reply I end up typing every 2 days about the Pitt Boss/Louisiana K24:

 

1. Great all around smoker/grill for the price. Great size.

2. Hinge nuts come loose if you mess with them/tighten them too much. If you do, you'll need to apply loctite and snug them but not too tight. Tighten until they are touching the washers, then loosen a half turn. Then let the loctite set overnight.

3. I hate the deflector/ceramic platesetter it comes with. It leaves too much of a gap and sits too high when used legs up for smoking. It's too close to the grate, and leaves no room for a drip pan.

4. Top vent 100% needs an extra layer of felt to seal properly.

5. Bottom damper needs some massaging to tighten. Some people add felt, I tapped the slider channels tighter with a hammer.

6. Combination of 4 & 5, if you don't fix them, prevents you from holding low temps, and prevents the grill from snuffing out the coals when you are done. 6 hours later with both top & bottom vents closed, open the lid and you'll see glowing coals. The next time you go to use it, open the lid and all the charcoal is gone, the only thing left is ash.

 

All of that sounds bad but.. fix the top & bottom vents, and lastly, get a Woo ring from ceramicgrillstore, and a 16" pizza stone. This gives you the following:

1. Seals it up for better temperature control, and when you shut it down, it shuts down in 15 minutes. Next day open the lid, and you have charcoal left to use for the next cook.

2. Raises the grate to the felt line. Better height for flipping burgers, steaks etc, and further from the coals (but not too far)

3. Provides a lower ring to put the 16" pizza stone for a deflector. Much better lower height, and less of a gap around it. Provides 2" distance between deflector and grate so you can use a round drip pan, or the rectangular disposable tin lasagna/steam tray pans Costco sells in 25 packs.

 

With these fixes, I find it's a perfect grill/smoker for the price. Can be had for less than $500 as the summer goes on. Add $20 felt, $40 Woo Ring and $40 Pizza stone, and you're good to go for half the price of others.

 

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2 hours ago, Walrus said:

@Steve325

 

I need to save this reply I end up typing every 2 days about the Pitt Boss/Louisiana K24:

 

1. Great all around smoker/grill for the price. Great size.

2. Hinge nuts come loose if you mess with them/tighten them too much. If you do, you'll need to apply loctite and snug them but not too tight. Tighten until they are touching the washers, then loosen a half turn. Then let the loctite set overnight.

3. I hate the deflector/ceramic platesetter it comes with. It leaves too much of a gap and sits too high when used legs up for smoking. It's too close to the grate, and leaves no room for a drip pan.

4. Top vent 100% needs an extra layer of felt to seal properly.

5. Bottom damper needs some massaging to tighten. Some people add felt, I tapped the slider channels tighter with a hammer.

6. Combination of 4 & 5, if you don't fix them, prevents you from holding low temps, and prevents the grill from snuffing out the coals when you are done. 6 hours later with both top & bottom vents closed, open the lid and you'll see glowing coals. The next time you go to use it, open the lid and all the charcoal is gone, the only thing left is ash.

 

All of that sounds bad but.. fix the top & bottom vents, and lastly, get a Woo ring from ceramicgrillstore, and a 16" pizza stone. This gives you the following:

1. Seals it up for better temperature control, and when you shut it down, it shuts down in 15 minutes. Next day open the lid, and you have charcoal left to use for the next cook.

2. Raises the grate to the felt line. Better height for flipping burgers, steaks etc, and further from the coals (but not too far)

3. Provides a lower ring to put the 16" pizza stone for a deflector. Much better lower height, and less of a gap around it. Provides 2" distance between deflector and grate so you can use a round drip pan, or the rectangular disposable tin lasagna/steam tray pans Costco sells in 25 packs.

 

With these fixes, I find it's a perfect grill/smoker for the price. Can be had for less than $500 as the summer goes on. Add $20 felt, $40 Woo Ring and $40 Pizza stone, and you're good to go for half the price of others.

 

 

Thank you for this. After some consideration and your recommendations I am going to go with this. Sounds like for $700 I could have an amazing cooking machine 

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Yup. Not sure where you are, but I'm in Canada. They are $749 in store right now, then they usually drop to $699 in June, then $599 in July/Aug.

 

I would have loved to get a Kamado Joe, but the regular Joe would have been smaller than I wanted, and a Big Joe is $2699 here. That's a huge jump.

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I got mine last year, did the felt/sealing right away and have added accessories over time, definitely get a KickAsh basket or something similar at some point. Makes cleaning much less of a chore.

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I just bought my k24 from Costco on Monday for $599. I was actually surprised how well built it is for the price. Tonight I will be cooking on it for the first time so I cant comment on performance yet. I did hold about 200-250 degrees for about 3 hours for break-in per instructions with a couple handfuls of lump.

 

Iam very excited to cook on it and it looks great on the patio. The biggest surprise was how nice the plastic trays are. They are solid and not hollow and look better in person. They should last longer than the old style bamboo trays that discolor over time. Also the cradle is thicker than I had imagined and is up to the task of holding the k24 beast. It rolls surprisingly well on my stamped concrete patio.

 

Not sure what method I will adopt to light my coals. I've decided that using the chimney is too risky as embers can get on your felt gasket when pouring lump into the grill. Iam going to try making my own cotton ball fire starters. Propane torch seemed like it would be nice but I worry about putting alot of heat into the fire bowl too soon and making it crack. 

 

Anyhow, I don't think this grill will disappoint especially for the price.

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Thanks walrus, I'll check it out. Iam cooking chicken breasts right now, keeping the temp around 350 and learning how to fine tune temp. I made some fire starters using cotton balls, petroleum jelly and rubbing alcohol. I used 3 of them and it was slower than using the chimney. 

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Finished my chicken breast cook and all went well. I used a chimney full of crappy cowboy lump from Costco. My temps stayed between 350 and 400. I took my chicken off at 400F and shut the vents. A half hour later it's down to 300 but Iam not sure if it will kill the fire. The top event ID is oversized and there is no interference fit with the gasket. The vent just falls right on. I did install the screws though. I'd imagine a double layer of gasket would seal it. 

 

Iam not sure how long it should take a kamado to cool down from 400 if its sealed properly. Maybe one of you guys will chime in. I definitely want to be able to slow cook and kill the coals in the future.

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You can tell if the fire is snuffing out by how much charcoal is left in the morning. The grill will hold a lot of heat without a fire, and if you open to look when it is still hot the fire can recatch.  

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